Sir Jude Chika “Ancestor” Nnam
Sir Jude “Ancestor” Nnam is without doubt the most prolific composer in Catholic Church in Africa, with thousands of original pieces and arrangements in several languages (English, Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, Bini, Efik, Igala, Ibibio, Swahili, Ashanti, Zulu, Spanish, Esan, Kalabari, French and the latest, in Chinese to mention but a few) to his name.
Born on November 10, 1965 to the family of Chief Patrick Chukwu Nnam and Mrs. Felicia Nnam of Umunnaugwu, Amechi, Awkunanaw, Enugu South Local Government, Enugu State. He has certificates in music from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and Trinity College of Music, London.
A man in love with originality, he has carved out a niche for himself with his strikingly unique melodies, filled with words that caress both the ear and the heart, and his evergreen contrapuntal harmonies that leave all and sundry wondering “What kind of man is this?”
He is a multi-instrumentalist with his unique style of accompaniment that has influenced the greater fraction of the organists in the Catholic Church in Nigeria and beyond.
A music director per excellence, he directed the “Papal Choir of a thousand voices” in Abuja during Saint Pope John Paul 11’s second visit to Nigeria, March 1998.
A recent survey showed that no Sunday Mass ends in most part of Africa, without at least two of Jude Nnam’s numerous songs having been sung. Another earlier survey reported that Jude Nnam has about 75% of all songs in the Catholic Church in Nigeria to his name. Sir Jude Nnam can safely be said to be the greatest and highest composer of Catholic songs today. Recently, he is involved in efforts to bridge the canyon, created by ethnic and denominational divides, between choirs in Nigeria through musical activities of various sorts.
He is a well-traveled Composer cum Instrumentalist whose story cannot be told in one account. A master of human relations, he always leaves an indelible impression on whomever he comes across, a quality that endears him so closely to people’s hearts all over the world and makes one want to meet him more. Another very interesting thing is that anyone expects to see a grey haired old man whenever the meet Jude Nnam for the first time, but it always is fun to see the obvious amazement in people’s faces when a handsome young man flashes a charming smile and with his hands out stretched says “Good day, I am Jude Nnam”.
The Ancestor, a much deserved and well-earned name by which he is popularly known, is happily married with four angelic children.